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The "Master" Race

by Paul Naras

Human beings can have such dichotomous dispositions and viewpoints. They can be so authoritative and immovable when it comes to certain concepts, to particular aspects of their lives, and yet so helpless and prostrate in other instances.

A man can be hopelessly lost driving up and down country back roads, stubbornly refusing to stop and ask for directions when the opportunity presents itself, all the while blindly trusting that some inner force is leading him to his destination. This same individual can then calmly surrender his spiritual life to someone else, handing over total power without a whimper.

Okay, the illustration above is a bit facetious but you get the point. Subject matter that encompasses God, religious persuasion, soul and spirit can be somewhat formidable. Other 'experts' seem to know what they're talking about. We, ourselves, are not so sure.

So choices are made and sometimes contradictions abound. We place our trust in a literal interpretation of the Bible and dismiss the fact that we are quite selective about which passages we choose to heed and which we totally ignore.

We stand in the pouring rain with a half million others while the Pope celebrates Mass, oblivious to the reality that we no longer accept even half of the precepts that the Pontiff is espousing.

We send monthly donations to our favorite televangelists and then don't quite know how to react when they are convicted of larceny or found soliciting favors from prostitutes.

We adopt the doctrines of a charismatic shepherd and the next thing we know we are being offered lemonade laced with strychnine because reservations have already been made at a fabulous resort in Paradise.

In this New Age the issue of 'authority' is also fundamental and fraught with risks and pitfalls. The metaphysical circus tent is congested with spiritual groupies ready and willing to surrender themselves to the first guru who smiles their way.

But before we look at the heroes walking amongst us today, a brief comment on those individuals that the annals of time have acclaimed as Avatars and sons of God. Gautama Siddhartha, Jesus et al did not come into this world for the expressed purpose of starting major religions or dying for our sins. These personages walked our earthly thoroughfares to help us recognize our own latent capabilities and our spiritual destiny. They SYMBOLIZED our POTENTIAL. They emblematized God in embodied, duality-based form. They demonstrated the fact that there are many roads but only one destination. If history has taught us anything it is that the devotees of any great Master can be counted upon to forge a personality cult around this Soul and, more often than not, undermine or misconstrue or utterly obliterate the spirit of the teaching itself.

In the same sense today's true Masters do not even use the word 'Master' when characterizing themselves but rather see themselves as perpetual students, as pilgrims on the road to self-transformation and Oneness. They do not foster a dependency amongst their adherents (if there are any) for their deep humility ensures that there is no slavish need to impress or control others. If there are submissive fawning disciples then the Master's ulterior purpose should be to liberate them (from him or herself).

Masters are known by what they say but, more importantly, by what they do. How many modern day guides (from the East and West) have started out with honorable intentions and have then succumbed to the allure of notoriety, materialism, sensuality and power. And how refreshing it was when a genuine Master like Krishnamurti went on record by stipulating that he desired no organizational structure to be established around him and his teachings. He knew that the moment one begins worshipping or devoting oneself to a 'someone' is usually the moment one suspends one's devotion and search for the truth.

Our libraries will always be filled with the wisdom of the ages. Spiritual mentors will always walk among us - pointing the way. But in the New Age we will have to realize that we must (eventually) abandon the guru in order to continue the quest. We have to reclaim the energy and authority we have projected onto our guides.

Ultimately everyone of us will commence that trek up the precipice of self-realization (if we haven't already). Some of the roads leading upward will be wide and well-traveled. Others will be circumscribed or enshrouded and will have to be navigated independently. Some trails will be circuitous and will wind leisurely up the mountain like spirals. Others will take you straight to the top. The path will select you as often as you select it. The forewarnings will be few but fundamental:

  • Beware of those promulgating the easiest path, or the quickest.
  • Beware of those offering to facilitate your journey, to untangle and decipher your road map - in exchange for your wealth, your indenture or your power.
  • Especially beware of those who try to convince you that theirs is the only path, the "true" path - for they are the ones who are truly and unquestionably lost.

All the outstanding queries, the misgiving, the perplexity that we thought only our gurus, only external authority could resolve are assuaged when we encounter the Master Within. The search is ever active and never subservient. No church, organization or individual has a monopoly on truth or holds the master key to the Absolute. The Rosetta stone resides within each and every heart. When we decode it we will realize that the Way is intrinsic to every spiritual movement and that the Light is reflected in the eyes of every man and woman we meet.

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